We need PUV modernization, and we need it now.
In today’s world, concrete evidence plays an even bigger part in figuring out what is true or not. It’s easy to manufacture lies – you need all the help you can get in order to get to the truth.
The case of Alexander “Alex” Gutal, 53 years old, versus a certain “Linda” recently sent Philippine social media into a frenzy. Tatay Alex allegedly committed a lewd act against Linda on a modern Public Utility Jeepney (PUJ), which led the woman to cause a scene.
This escalated to a confrontation on the jeepney – blows were traded, and several bystanders got involved in the altercation. It quickly turned bloody, as Tatay Alex was beat up in the Barangay Hall by Linda’s family.
Sexual harassment is never okay, and it should always be called out whenever it happens. However, in this particular case, proof that exonerated the accused was brought to light – and changed the story altogether.
What is interesting here is how the Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) played an integral part in the entire fiasco. If anything, this incident is a great “proof of concept” of how exactly PUV modernization protects and benefits the public.
The Case of “Linda” vs Tatay Alex
For the uninformed, the incident happened Thursday night, but it went viral last Saturday when Tatay Alex’s son, Christian, released the CCTV footage on social media.
What seemed as a possible case of sexual misconduct turned into a viral sensation. The CCTV showed Tatay Alex stumbling as the PUJ moved, causing him to get into Linda’s personal space. It did not look like he committed any form of sexual harassment – in fact, the footage showed evidence that painted Linda, the bystanders, and her family in a negative light.
Christian asked help from media personality Raffy Tulfo, and that was how the incident truly caught fire. The CCTV footage was played during his show, and Linda could do nothing as the evidence was clearly against her.
Soon after, the accused-turned victim, together with his son, faced Linda and her family on air. Linda begged for forgiveness, but Tatay Alex was firm in pursuing a case against her and her family.
Netizens cheered as Tatay Alex remarked, “tuloy ang kaso,” despite the groveling of Linda and her mother at his feet.
The truth coming to light
For some, the whole Alyas Linda fiasco may seem overly sensationalized, especially since it reached Tulfo-level notoriety. But the fact remains that if this happened in an old, dilapidated jeepney, Tatay Alex would have had no defense.
It is clear that his resolve comes from the fact that he was beaten and wrongfully accused. In fact, he might have ended up in jail if Linda pressed charges. At the very least, his reputation would have been tarnished.
The truth only came to light because of the presence of CCTV in the modern PUJ. It led to a lot of scandal and drama, but it exposed the truth. Most, if not all vehicles under PUV modernization will include CCTV.
This sentiment was shared by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) in a Facebook post on its official page. The agency was quick to point out that netizens were thankful that a CCTV was present in the modern jeepney.
The case for the CCTV and PUV Modernization
Imagine how many false accusations and wrongful convictions happen every day just because of the lack of evidence. The CCTV is traditionally seen as a deterrent to crime, but more importantly, it is a tool that serves the truth.
Security of passengers is only one of the benefits of modern public transport. Like the DOTr said, the aim of PUV modernization is to fix the system of public transportation in the country. It is meant to provide a safer and more convenient experience for the riding public. It is for all of us. After all, we will all benefit from the truth.